I’ve always been a fan of Blackberries. I like how their OS is laid out, I like how it takes itself seriously but doesn’t shove you away, and I love the services RIM brings with the monthly BIS subscription – unlimited e-mail, unlimited on-device browsing through the BB browser and loads of other goodies ranging from free GPS navigation to a large selection of apps from Blackberry World.

A few years (or months, depends on how much of a fan you are) ago, RIM’s mobile phones started to slow down their breakneck pace as public attention turned to Apple and Android mobiles, both offering more eye-candy and something different to consumers who wanted to consume digital media. RIM’s phones were never drool-worthy when it came to hardware specs, it was all about the service and whether the device lasts long enough for your needs on battery backup. The Bolds were incredibly popular among businessmen and IT departments and the level of customization and control offered by the Blackberry Enterprise Server was only matched by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile phones tying into Active Directory services over the internet.

Once RIM realized that it was rapidly going to lose customer approval if it didn’t change things around, they started development and signed off rather quickly on the successor to BB OS5, BB OS6. OS6 brought about many UI changes and smoothed out menus and clunky interfaces that still lingers back then they still had scroll wheels for navigation. OS6 also allowed for new devices to be released, including the Storm 1 and 2. While they were successful mobiles in their own right, RIM hadn’t gotten their touchscreen formula down and still released Bolds and Curves with QWERTY keypads. The Torch 9800 was the best of both worlds, and is still a popular phone with many network providers.

With their latest iteration, considered by many as a stop-gap solution, OS7 was released and brought RIM further away from obscurity in the market. The new Curve 9360, for example, is as powerful as the Bold 9780 that preceded it. Along with this are new touch phones, the Curve 9380, the Torch 9810 and 9860 and the Bold 9790 and 9900. All are extremely capable phones in their own right, and RIM can be proud of itself to have released a range of phones with the same idea as Nokia had in mind – have the hardware platforms between ranges as similar as possible to make coding and updates to the devices easier to roll out at the same time.

Now, though, new pictures and leaks have been appearing on the internet about the new Blackberries running on BB OS10. The ones we know about are the London and the still-in-concept Milan, and the next Playbook will be on OS10 as well. While screenshots are all well and good, what’s really interesting is the phone that the OS is apparently running on – the Torch 9860.

This suggests that 9810, 9790 and 9900 owners may get an upgrade after all. Hurray?

Source: GSM Arena